Thanksgiving is right around the corner and its not too late to make some adjustments to your menu! Today I’m going to share with you some of my favorite healthy recipes. From appetizers, sides, and even dessert.
This hummus is ALWAYS a hit! Let your guests have a healthy option and serve it with carrots and pepper sticks, along with pita chips. The best part, this recipe is SUPER easy!
- 2 Tbsp Tahini
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp pumpkin oil
- 3/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/8 tsp ground pepper
- 15 oz canned pumpkin (plain)
- 5 cloves of garlic, passed through a garlic press
- T tbsp cilantro
Place all ingredients in a food processor, blend until smooth
Next up… Side Dishes:
Roasted Green Beans with Parmesan
Again, so, so good! Everyone loves these beans, and they will save you tons of calories if you choose this over the traditional casserole.
- 12 oz green beans, trimmed (make sure they are dry)
- 2 tsp olive oil
- kosher salt + fresh cracked pepper to taste
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1 1/2 tbsp shredded parmesan
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum for easy clean-up.
Lay green beans out on the baking sheet and drizzle oil over them. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder and toss to evenly coat.
Spread them out on the sheet so that they all lay flat and place on the lower third section of your oven. Bake 10 minutes, shake the pan to turn; bake 5 additional minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with grated cheese.
Apple Ginger Cranberry Sauce
I prefer to make my cranberry sauce from scratch, and this recipe is EXTRA special! The apples and ginger give it such a unique flavor.
- 12 oz cranberries, fresh or frozen and defrosted
- 1 apple, cored and chopped into 1/3-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup raw organic honey
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 1/2 tbsp fresh ginger, finely minced
- Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
Add all ingredients to a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until cranberries break down, apples soften and mixture thickens (sauce will continue to thicken slightly as it chills). Stir often to prevent sticking on bottom of pan. Transfer to a serving dish or storage container, cover and chill for at least 3 hours.
Apple Brown Rice Stuffing
I save the BEST side dish for last. I make this every year, bring it to potluck gatherings, and make extra for leftovers! It is so much healthier than the traditional bread based stuffing, and in my opinion, tastes MUCH better!
- 1 1/2 cups brown rice, uncooked
- 2 cups apple juice plus 1 1/2 cups water
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 crips harvest apple, cored and diced
- 1/2 cup onion, diced
- 1/2 cup brussels sprouts or asparagus, chopped fine
- 4 cloves garlic, passed through garlic press
- 1 carrot, peeled and chopped fine
- 1 cup celery, diced
- 1/3 cup oat bran or wheat bran
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup slivered almonds, raw or lightly toasted
- 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
- 1/4 tsp thyme
- Freshly ground black pepper
Make rice according to package. Used the combination of water and apple juce for the cooking liquid
Place olive oil in a large skilled and heat over medium heat. Cook all chopped fruits and veggies until they are crisp, not soggy. Add cooked brown rice, bran, cranberries, almonds, poultry seasoning, pepper and thyme. Toss well
Use as stuffing for poultry. Delicious!
And finally… The Desserts.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Shooters
This recipe is portion controlled so you won’t go too crazy! Plus, it is on the lighter side while still feeling like an indulgent treat.
- 3 (1.5 oz total) whole graham crackers
- 4 oz 1/3 fat cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup pure canned pumpkin
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp dark brown sugar, unpacked
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 8 oz light whipped topping (See if you can find Truwhip to keep it healthy!)
Crush graham crackers in a food processor. Set aside.
In a large bowl beat the cream cheese until smooth with an electric mixer. Add the pumpkin, vanilla, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg and cinnamon. Beat until well combined and creamy. Use a spatula to fold in 5 oz (1-1/2 cups) of the whipped topping; combine until no streaks remain. Place in a piping bag or ziplock bag with a corner snipped off.
To assemble: Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of graham cracker crumbs on the bottom of each shot glass. Pipe a layer of pumpkin cheesecake onto the graham cracker crust (about 1 tbsp) followed by a layer of whipped topping. Repeat a second layer and finish with another sprinkle of crumbs. Insert small spoons and refrigerator until ready to serve.
Coconut Date Ice Cream
This is a totally sugar free and clean recipe! So if you REALLY want a guilt free dessert, this is your go-to. This recipe is sweetened with natures candy, Dates. Dates are full of great vitamins and nutrients, and the coconut milk will provide healthy fats to keep you going!
- 2 cans full fat coconut milk
- 15 dates
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Chopped pecans (for an optional topping)
Blend the ingredients in a blender until the dates are finely chopped. The easiest way to make the ice cream is with an ice cream maker. Chill the mixture for a few hours in the fridge and then run through the ice cream maker for 20 minutes. It turns out perfect and stores in the freezer well. (I finally broke down and got an ice cream maker, and I’m glad I did!)
It IS possible to make this without an ice cream maker, but it is a lot more work, and doesn’t turn out as well. But I’ve done it, and my guests still loved it! Pour the mixture into a large plastic bowl and pop into the freezer for an hour. Take it out and whip it up with a hand mixer or a strong arm and a fork, and put it back in the freezer for another 30-60 minutes. Keep repeating this process, until you’ve got your ice cream to a desired consistency.